Dr. Bassey Nyom of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), on Wednesday, warned Nigerian men to desist from being reactive in prostate cancer care, but rather seek ways of its prevention.
Nyom, who gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Calabar, said it was unfortunate that Nigerians wait until they contract a disease before seeking treatment.
The doctor who is also a member of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN) called on every male, aged 40 and above, to get a Digital Rectile Examination (DRE), to prevent prostate cancer.
She said DRE was not expensive or painful but a bedside thing in which the doctor sticks his or her fingers in the anus of the man to assess the prostate gland to know if it is benignly large or cancerous.
According to her, after DRE, the doctor may decide to screen for Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) and Abdominal Pelvic Ultrasound to assess the gland further to determine the stage of the cancer, if found cancerous.
She maintained that if the stage of the cancer was still early, the man would have to undergo surgery or take chemotherapy drugs for life.
“DRE is one of the cheapest tests anyone can have, unfortunately, Nigerians are not preventive but reactive, as we wait to contract a disease first before visiting a doctor, which is dangerous.
“Prostate cancer can be hereditary, but there are no specific known causes other than risk factors such as being a man and over 40 years, a family history, drinking and the use of tobacco.
“It is important to note that different people that contract the disease show different symptoms such as difficulty in urinating and some may even have a catheter implanted, to enable them pass urine.
“Others urinate blood, some feel there is still some urine left when they urinate, some even wake up five to ten times every night to urinate only to produce very little quantity of urine and other symptoms,” she said.
Nyom added that any man with a family history of a male in the family that died of prostate cancer should get tested because early detection still remained the best way remedy for cancer care.